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Be safe and wear your helmet

With warmer weather comes more people taking their bicycle out of the garage. With that in mind, the regional health department is reminding residents to take the helmet out as well.

According to a survey by the department in 2013, youth aged 10 through 19 experienced the highest rate of sports injury-related ER visits and hospitalizations – and many of these incidents could be prevented by wearing a helmet.

“We hope to encourage young children to develop the habit of wearing their helmets properly at all times when cycling,” states Yemisi Aladesua, a public health nurse with the health department, in a news release.

“We believe that developing this habit in the early years will result in continued helmet use throughout adulthood, as wearing a helmet is essential in helping to reduce injury when cycling or participating in other wheeled activities.

According to a report from Parachute Canada, helmets can help reduce the risk of brain injury by 88 per cent, head injuries by 85 per cent and upper and mid-facial injuries by 65 per cent.

To learn more about bike safety, residents are invited to Durham Bicycle Fun and Safety Day at Kids’ Safety Village of Durham at 1129 Athol St. in Whitby on May 28 from noon to 3 p.m.

“The Bicycle Fun and Safety Day is a great opportunity for parents to join their children to both learn about and help reinforce important safety skills,” Aladesua states.

“It’s also important that parents wear helmets themselves; kids learn best by observing their parents and parents are their child’s best role model.”